To Gus Powell, the City’s “timing, momentum and veiled tenderness” set it apart from everywhere else. He trains his lens on To Gus Powell, the City’s “timing, momentum and veiled tenderness” set it apart from everywhere else. He trains his lens on street-level flow. People go about their business, navigating city sidewalks and crosswalks. They are frequently, purposefully, headed in opposite directions. Downtown Brooklyn may be a central business district, but it radiates personality and swagger to Powell, recalling the 1980s-era city of the native New Yorker’s adolescence. The storefronts of Queens’ Jackson Heights pop with color; the light in its train station offers what he calls a “theatrical quality,” setting a stage for commuters.
Influenced by street photographer Joel Meyerowitz and absurdist filmmaker Jacques Tatis, Powell picks compositional moments according to an almost naturalistic rhythm: “It’s like watching the waves at the beach—you start to know where the breaks are most promising.”